$1 Trillion Fund Manager Ranks Tencent, Alibaba `Most Important'

(Bloomberg) -- The chief executive officer of the world’s biggest sovereign wealth fund said two companies stand out when it comes to assessing the importance of the planet’s absolute corporate giants.

Tencent Holdings Ltd. and Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. “are maybe the two most important companies in the world,” Yngve Slyngstad, who runs Norway’s $1 trillion wealth fund, said at conference in London on Tuesday.

“Look at the size of them,” he said. “They are larger by themselves than most emerging markets.” That dynamic means the Norwegian wealth fund takes a different strategic approach toward China than it does toward other countries and regions, he said.

The fund’s sheer size makes it hard to find investment targets big enough to be worth buying. Given those challenges, Slyngstad has consistently pointed to China as a market that warrants careful attention, and he’s made regular trips to the country to monitor its development.

Norway’s wealth fund held $863 million, or about 0.2 percent in Alibaba at the end of 2017, and $4.15 billion, or 0.8 percent in Tencent, according to the latest regulatory filings.

©2018 Bloomberg L.P.

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